DisCourse #004

Weekes Strong First Album

Last year, from a Backwater Jam, I wrote, “Please make a recording”.
Seeing Kate Weekes solo on stage was an ear-opening experience.

Since that night I have had the pleasure of seeing Weekes several more times in different stages of accompaniment.

After seeing her on the big stage at this year’s Frostbite Festival, I met up with Weekes to ask her a few questions about her first CD and talk about things that make her tick.

Land Shaping The People was recorded at Whitehorse’s own Old Crow Recording Studio. Produced by Bob Hamilton, the disc is an album of five finely crafted songs.

There is great conviction in this music … the gal knows of what she speaks.

Weekes talked about her love of the road and the feelings that travel evoked within her.
Like any writer who takes what they know to tell a story, Weekes taps into the positive energy of her life translating it to song. Tapping into this reservoir and wrapping these stories in good music is Weekes’ great strength.

This project was her first in a recording studio and she confessed it was an intense experience. Money and time constraints as well as inexperience in the studio may have been distractions for her (note the thousand-yard stare she has on the CD cover).

Brooding pictures aside, none of these have influenced the final product.
The title track to Land Shaping The People is a plain, stated, good old-fashioned ecological anthem whereby any step we make changes the world for all of us. The big and the small of it all put to a rocking good riff and punchy chorus.

The play of opposites in The Ugliness and Me offers the listener, “life’s so sweet but oh-so-short and I won’t be bored to tears”.

She is a traveller of the old school, hitchhiking around the country and making her own way on the road with Kerouac and Hesse in mind.
Lake Laberge is a chilling homage to a lake that was last heard of in Robert Service’s famous poem. Drawing together historical references and personal experience, she simultaneously paints a haunting portrait and drags the lake into the 21st century.

Fox On Your River is the big break-up song on the album. Never the victim, our protagonist states, “I’m sad and excited and I don’t care for bittersweet” and “There’s something to be said for letting go, love the wild accept the snow”.

Wise without being cynical, she pours her experiences into her art, writing lyrics with a poetic richness of place and character.
Every song on this album has a forward momentum that carries the listener along.

A perfect example of this theme is Why’d I Buy The Ticket? Travelling through different towns on a bus journey, the narrator sorrowfully states “this trip will be a long one if I weep for every town and cannot stay”.
She sings “… me, I dread the still”.

Perhaps this is a hint to the talent of Kate Weekes: looking to the future and reflecting upon her journey.

Kate Weekes will be touring the festivals this season and, remember, keep an eye out for her around town. She is a must-see-live. She has some mp3s of her music at www.myrc.ca/kateweekes.